The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Amate omnes, Iphis: Blowing Bubbles

Sofia Lee

The Bay Area is a bubble — an ethnically diverse, wealthy, high-performing academic group, compared to the rest of the US. When we zoom in further, the groups we have at our school are bubbles too; the stereotypical “jock” bubble, the “nerds,” the “theater kids” and so on. Certain groups hang out with certain groups, who share similar interests, backgrounds and identities — that’s just how it is.

These bubbles may seem obvious. I had always been aware of the groups of people and media I chose to surround myself with — mostly liberal, LGBTQ+ people of color — and that they don’t represent the majority of people around me.

Still, this vague awareness amounted to nothing when I was forced to come face-to-face with the difference between my bubbles and the outside world. A particular instance slapped this realization in my face — when people I considered friends made transphobic comments about a trans girl we didn’t even know. They blatantly disrespected her. They used the wrong pronouns, referred to her as a “man” and even called her a slur. These were the same people I’d laughed with and built relationships with; they were now laughing at people like me. There was a distinct taste of betrayal in my shock, even though I wasn’t out as queer to them. If I was out, would they have ridiculed me, too? Called me names? Slurs?

In most spaces, I am out. I proudly announce that I use any pronouns, that I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t really think about homophobia or transphobia often. I’ve never struggled with internalized homophobia. My gender and sexual identity is something that I’ve accepted as another facet of myself, another integral part of who I am. But instances like these remind me that I’m not out everywhere. I’m not out to my parents or to some of my closest friends at school. I probably never will be.

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Transphobia and homophobia are real. It’s all around us. And honestly, it will never go away. There are going to be bigoted assholes everywhere we go. But it shouldn’t always be up to queer people to educate those who are willfully ignorant and prejudiced.

Blow bubbles — make communities — for yourself where you are accepted and loved. There’s millions of people who are just like you. You’re not alone.

Curate, ut valeatis,

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